A title search is one of the most important components of the home-buying process. Besides helping you secure financing, a title search also gives you peace of mind knowing that the property you are about to invest in is clean.
A title search may seem like a simple formality. However, it is not. The outcome of a title search can help you make an informed decision. Most importantly, it can save you from making a costly mistake that can ruin your home ownership dream.
So, what does the process of a title search look like?
A title search involves examining multiple documents like contracts, deeds as well as other recorded documents to learn whether the property has any legal defects like zoning violations and outstanding liens. As a buyer, you want a free and clear title that will not cause legal problems down the road.
Here are two questions a title search can help you answer.
What is the property’s identifier number (PIN)?
This might seem inconsequential. However, establishing the property’s actual description as well as the corresponding PIN is a crucial legal step. For instance, if the seller made an error while drafting the sales contract and provided the wrong PIN or description, the sum implication would be that you do not own the property in question.
Is the property registered under any bylaws?
A title search will help you find out if the property has any bylaws registered to it. These may include bylaws that restrict the kinds of renovations you can make on the home. They may also include what you can (and cannot) use the property for. For instance, if the property is registered as strictly residential, then you may not use it for commercial purposes. Establishing these bylaws upfront can save you from unpleasant surprises down the road.
A title search gives you a complete picture of the property you are about to acquire. Learning more about New York real estate closing laws can help you protect your rights and interests while conducting a title search.